Wow, it’s been a while…

speedtest.net resultsLot of things going on.
Minor:
We are now using Verizon FIOS (see speedtest results). After having one issue or another with TWC every week, it just got too tiring. When VZ called me up and  I priced out FIOS for TV, Phone and Internet, It’s just cheaper for me and my wife. On top of that, we get faster Internet, all HD channels we want, and the DVR works better. So, for now, we’re happy with Verizon FIOS. Since it is a NEW Fiber optic line coming into the house, I hope this eliminates all the issues I had with the original Copper line.

I have NOT been able to do many Photo Walk abouts in the last 6 months but I have joined a Camera Club at work. It’s fun and I have a chance to meet and network with new people. The Club covers events for work and is a lot of fun.

Major:
My Wife and I are expecting a Baby. Needless to say, we are happy to add to our Family!
😉

I wondered why I got a spike in traffic…

Recently, I solved a small (seriously, really small) issue with one of my favorite Greasemonkey scripts “Smilies and other tools“.

krisdecurtis' buddy icon Kris de Curtis was nice enough to point people to my site for the solution that I came up with.  On top of lending people a helping hand, he’s a good Photographer too, check out his flickr site.

😉

After barely 7 months my Headphones broke

Sony MDR-NC7Barely 7 months after getting my Sony headphones and they snap when I put then on yesterday. Sony has an exchange program for $25 and shipping, but I can get a new one for $33 and shipping from Amazon.

Probably the Sony Store at Tanger outlet has them for a similar price and I was thinking of getting a Sony photo printer (old one won’t work with Vista 64)…

Decisions, decisions…

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment

My first Greasemonkey Script

flickr_logo_gammaIt’s been years since I did any Javascript programing, but I had a simple problem and decided to dive into it.

Like many of the little programs I write, I had a “problem” and wanted to solve it. I wanted a convenient link on the photo page to cut and paste the short URL of FLickr Images.  Look at this URL for a nice photo my wife took:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/s_d/3665619548/

As a URL goes, not too bad, but suppose you wanted to insert the link in
Twitter or Facebook? It’s a little verbose.  Wouldn’t this be better?

http://flic.kr/p/6zVfZ3

Yep, I think so too and so does Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/services/api/misc.urls.html#short
http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157616713786392/
This thread showed how to do it: http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157616713786392/

The FlickrBase58 function in the script was written entirely by ‘Xenocryst @ Antares Scorpii’
http://www.flickr.com/people/antares/

Other than reformating, taken verbatim from link here
http://www.flickr.com/groups/api/discuss/72157616713786392/72157620673064673/

The Original way *I* wrote it was to retrieve the HTML, Parse it for
<link rev=”canonical” type=”text/html” src=”//flic.kr/p/6zVfZ3″ >

And use that link. While fun to write, that’s the wrong way to do it so I rewrote it to use the function written by ‘Xenocryst @ Antares Scorpii’ .  When installed on Firefox running the Greasemonkey extension, it will insert a link on the page on the right side just under “Flag your photo” that says:

The Flic.kr link is: http://flic.kr/p/6zVfZ3

This will allow you to right click the URL, copy it and paste into Twitter or Facebook.

Here is the script.

NOTE: I’m pretty certain it’s harmless, but use at your own risk. It’s hardly great programming and I’m sure someone else would have done it too, if not better.

Music I’m listening to right Now:
Paralyzer ” by Finger Eleven from the “Them VS. You VS. Me” Album.

Bad week in Celebrity News

It seems famous people DO pass away in threes. Two are, sadly, not a surprise. Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett were both known to be ill, but Michael Jackson was a complete shock.  I’m not particularly a fan of Michael Jackson (make no mistake, I’m sorry all three passed away) but he was a talented artist and had a great impact on pop music.

Firefox 3.5rc2 and “Flickr Comment Tools”

Flickr Comment Tools” is a great Greasemonkey script that I use everyday but under Firefox 3.5, it would not insert emoticons. Finally fixed it, It was a simple change that was driving me nuts… As I posted here:

view photostream S.D. Pro User says:

Got it.

Change this:

[javascript]
ifrm.contentDocument.execCommand(‘inserthtml’,false,'<a title="Smilies" style="background:white !important;" href="http://www.ts0.com/flickrcommenttools/"><img align="absmiddle" style="vertical-align:middle;" src="’+this.url+’" border="0"></a>’);
[/javascript]

to:

[javascript]
ifrm.contentDocument.execCommand(‘inserthtml’,false,'<a title="Smilies" style="background:white !important;" href="http://www.ts0.com/flickrcommenttools/"><img align="absmiddle" style="vertical-align:middle;" src="’+this.src+’" border="0"></a>’);
[/javascript]

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment

Another Overdue update

s-IRAN-PROTEST-largeLots going on lately and I’ve been neglecting my blog…

The most pressing item I’ve been reading about is the aftermath of the election in Iran. To put it mildly, the news is stunning. First, you have the apparent theft of the election (Does ANYONE know who really won???), then, the protests (a right we take for granted), and now the crackdown by the Gov’t. You can read updates here at The Huffington Post and all related posts here.

The people want change and the Gov’t and their supporters are oppressing them. The Gov’t is trying to control info that comes and goes from the people. Between phone and the Internet, the Gov’t (thankfully!) doesn’t seem to be having much luck blocking the info. What info does get out, paints a stark picture and makes our issues seem trivial. Here in the U.S., next time you see a protest and complain about it, thank your lucky stars that people here CAN protest and that you can complain about it. Not everyone is as fortunate.

I have no idea how far this will go, but I think the world should pay close attention as, one way or another, history is happening now.

On a much lighter note: I’m trying to get out to take photos again with varying success. I’m reading Joe McNally’s “The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes” and getting a lot of tips and inspiration from it. It has a lot of good info, is well written, and entertaining too. I highly recommend it.

I’m also brushing up on Photoshop Elements. Between magazine articles and a book or two, I’m adding to my limited skill set.

Work is the good. Things are stable and the occasional late night call is happening less frequently.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment.

Quick and overdue Update

Dell XPS 630

Ok, It’s been quite a while since I updated my blog, so here is a rundown:

  • I’ve been working on my little backyard garden every weekend since it’s been warm enough. As a result, the lawn looks good, the vegetable garden is growing and our flower beds are weed free and has cedar mulch.  The Iris that our neighbor, Mrs. Chiu, gave us is really taking off. She planted that Iris in every house she owned, but finally moved to an apartment so she gave it to us. I have to call her son to let them know that it continues to grow (30-40 years!). It’s hard work, but it’s enjoyable as WE benefit from it.
  • Related, I striped apart our Weber Genesis BBQ cleaned it, replaced the gas line (old quick connect is not used anymore), and we are good to go. That grill is a hand me down from over 10 years ago. The good thing about Weber grills: it will last forever if you keep it clean. I can’t wait for our small July 4th BBQ.
  • We have so much Mint and Sage that we’re giving it away (Luckily our neighbor likes Sage). Since we have so much mint, we’ve learned to make an occasional mojito too.
  • Thanks to Janny, I’m finally learning how to cook. I’m starting with simple meals like Tilapia fish marinated with coconut curry and collard greens. I also can safely cook chicken and pork chops too. Anyone that knows me, knows what an accomplishment this is. Having a good Zojirushi rice cooker also helps.
  • Our home computer had a very persistent computer virus. The virus scaner (Two!) would ID the files but could not clean it as their was a persistent lock on them. As my brother suggested, I downloaded Ubuntu, burned a boot CD, booted up in LINUX and removed the infected files.  That was so easy that it was a bit ridiculous. Booting up in LINUX completely disables the threat.
  • After using our PC since 2000/2001, we decided now was a good time. So, Janny and I got a Dell XPS 630 and pretty much optioned it out (8gb RAM, 1TB RAID 0, Intel® Core 2 Q8300 (4MB,2.5GHz, 1333FSB), 24 inch Flat screen monitor, etc. ). To put it mildly, I’m really looking forward to getting it.

In summary, life is pretty good.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment.

HGUC Hi Nu Gundam

hi-nu-hgucSaw this on Ngee Khiong’s site (great site); It’s the HGUC version of the Hi Nu Gundam. Prior to making the HGUC Nu Gundam and Sazabi, I would not have gotten this, but  I’m really impressed by the level of detail and flexibility of the recent HGUC line by Bandai.

When it comes out, I’ll probably just walk down to Image Anime on 30th street and just get it.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment.

What is up with Magazine SPAM?!?!

Very weird, I’m getting bombarded with over 50 messages a day to “subscribe” to various Magazines? It’s so bad, I’m auto deleting anything with certain magazine names…